“It’s evocative of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, that sense of foreboding and drama..”
We caught up with mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly in between rehearsals for Berlioz’s dramatic song cycle ‘Les nuits d’été’.Read More
If you attend our concert with Sarah Connolly next Monday at the Royal Festival Hall, you’ll notice there’s a big Orchestra, but no conductor.
Instead, our Leader Kati Debretzeni directs the Orchestra from the violin.
How does that work? And why are we attempting this musical high wire act? Kati explains.Read More
“Life changing. Depth and colours and beauty and horror.”Read More
Vladimir Jurowski conducts works by Mahler, including Songs of a Wayfarer with soloist Sarah Connolly,Read More
On 15 December we took Offenbach’s Fantasio to the Royal Festival Hall, with Sir Mark Elder conducting an all-star cast including Sarah Connolly and Brenda Rae. Here’s what the audience had to say about it.Read More
Last night saw fresh life breathed into Offenbach’s lost opera Fantasio, and the first batch of reviews are in…Read More
His times: Offenbach was sent from his native Cologne to study music in Paris, a city that was fast forging a reputation as the world capital of entertainment (risqué, populist and otherwise) and was, for much of the composer’s adult life, under the regime of the Second French Republic and Napoleon III.Read More
As Sir Mark Elder and the cast of Fantasio prepared for Sunday’s performance at Royal Festival Hall, photographer Russell Duncan was there to capture it.
BOOK TICKETSRead More
As they took a break from recording Offenbach’s Fantasio, we spoke with conductor Sir Mark Elder and mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly, about the challenges of reviving a lost opera.Read More
Our Projects Director, Ceri Jones, is leaving the OAE for new adventures today (insert very sad expressions from the office team). Here’s a little last blog from her, with some of her highlights from her time with us. Ceri – you will be much missed!Read More
*cue dramatic music*
*overly long pause*
The winner of ‘Pick an Offenbach design 2013‘ is….Read More
The time has come to unveil our new season brochure.This year we went for a purely visual approach, developed with our designers Harrison and Co and photographer Eric Richmond, which has a slight retro feel, using geometric shapes combined with a simple two tone palette.Read More
After last month’s performance of Queens, Heroines and Ladykillers: French Exchange at Southbank Centre, we spoke with some audience members to find out what they thought of the concert.Read More
Last week, we enjoyed a fabulous concert with fast rising star Jonathan Cohen conducting and regular OAE collaborator Sarah Connolly singing some wonderful arias from Purcell, Rameau and Charpentier.
Here’s what the reviewers said about the concert:
The Times (subscribers only)
Thanks to all who tweeted during the concert too, our favourite comment was:
“Blinking Hell! I always thought @spconnolly was fab, but tonight she got into my heart and soul and had a good old rummage. Superb”
Here’s our Storify page with all your feedback from the night.
Let us know what you thought of the night by using the comments box below.Read More
Our guide to female opera characters returns, with a look at Phaedra…
The fabulous Sarah Connolly will be taking on the role next Thursday at our next Queens, Heroines and Ladykillers concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, in Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie.
In Part 3 of our guide to female opera characters, we’re looking into the life of famous queen Dido…and tonight at the Royal Festival Hall, Anna Caterina Antonacci will be portraying the lady herself in an aria from Berlioz’s grand opera Les Troyens.
Who was she?
Dido was founder and queen of Carthage. She fled her home of Tyre when her brother murdered her husband and she settled with her followers in North Africa.
The new city of Carthage was flourishing when the Trojan hero Aeneas arrived on his way to Italy to found what would eventually be Rome. However, when he stopped in Carthage the goddess Venus made Dido fall in love with him and for a while Aeneas postponed his quest. When he eventually left, Dido was heartbroken and committed suicide, cursing Aeneas and his descendants. Aeneas later met Dido in the underworld but she refused to forgive him even in death.
What was she famous for?
Dido is most famous for the Roman poet Virgil’s account of her romance Aeneas in The Aeneid. The story of their doomed romance was used by Christopher Marlowe, Henry Purcell and Sasha Waltz.
Dido has a popstar, a computer game character, a mathematical problem and an asteroid named after her.
Was she a queen, heroine or ladykiller?
Dido was a queen first and foremost. Before Aeneas arrived on the scene, she was an accomplished leader known for her wisdom. When she originally asked for land to build Carthage she was told she could have only the amount of land an ox hide could cover – to get round this she had the hide cut into one long strip which meant she had enough land to build a whole city!
Who will be singing Dido and when?
Anna Caterina Antonacci will sing Je vais mourir…Adieu, fière cité from Berlioz’s Les Troyens at Three eras of divas on 30 September 2012. You can listen to it here
Sarah Connolly will be singing When I am laid in earth from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in French Exchange on Thursday 8 November 2012.Read More
Ahead of the first concert in our Queens, Heroines and Ladykillers series this Sunday, celebrating some amazing women in music, we thought we’d give you the lowdown on some of the female opera characters we’ll be featuring over the next few months.
First on our list is Medea, one of the most notorious ladykillers of them all…Read More
As you may have read in a previous post, this Monday we launched our 2012-2013 Southbank Centre season to the press at the Royal Festival Hall. So it’s now time to give you some highlights and tell you what’s in store. Public booking for the season opens on 14 Feb, but you can book NOW if you join the Friends of the OAE. Alternatively members of our Priority Mailing List can book from next Wednesday. All the concerts will be added to our website shortly.
Queens Heroines and Ladykillers: A 5-event series celebrating strong female characters in opera. Including:
30 September 2012 Sir Roger Norrington is joined by Anna Caterina Antonacci to sing works by Cherubini, Gluck and Berlioz.
8 November 2012 Sarah Connolly sings Purcell, Rameau and Charpentier.
3 June 2013 A Tribute to Lorraine Hunt Lieberson – William Christie directs an all-Handel concert.
By Jupiter, that’s the last of Mozart!
29 January 2013 – Sir Simon Rattle conducts Mozart’s last 3 symphonies.
8 February 2013 A brand new collaboration with choreographer Henri Oguike with a world premiere of a dance dance work set to Vivaldi’s seminal Four Seasons, with OAE leader Kati Debretzeni as soloist.
25 February 2013 Legendary pianist András Schiff makes his OAE debut with Mozart’s Piano Concertos Nos 9 & 24
The Works, our new concert series giving you a guided tour of selected pieces continues.
OAE Tots returns with 6 events throughout the year for the youngest of music lovers.
And of course our late-night Night Shift series also continues.
Henry Purcell Dido & Aeneas
An opera in three acts
with Sarah Connolly, Gerald Finley, Lucy Crowe, Patricia Bardon, William Purefoy, Sarah Tynan, John Mark Ainsley, Carys Lane and Rebecca Outram.
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Choir of the Enlightenment
Elizabeth Kenny & Steven Devine music directors
Total Playing Time: 69.49
Here’s a little video diary from our trip to Paris back in January, when we took a supersized OAE there for a concert of Wagner, Liszt and Mahler with conductor Vladimir Jurowski and mezzo soprano Sarah Connolly. We armed Communications Director William Norris with a video camera, and here are the results: